Survey conducted by the Department of Education shows that 85% of teachers also want to return to classrooms
With exactly one month to go before the start of the new school year on September 10, Mayor Bill de Blasio and the Chancellor of Education Richard Carranza released on Monday the results of a survey they did among parents and teachers of the New York City, and that among other results revealed that 74% of the 1.1 million students plan to attend mixed classes in public schools, and 85% of educators also indicated that they will return to classrooms.
The Mayor indicated that in this exact month until the schools open their doors, the City will continue to do unprecedented work to meet the main objective that has been set for the start of classes: ensure the health and safety of children against the coronavirus.
“I know that the most important thing right now for parents is to know if children will be safe, and I can guarantee that we are ready to guarantee their safety, and for them we have imposed rigorous standards which we must comply with ”, insisted De Blasio. “I gave the order to reopen with the sole and absolute condition of whether we could do it in a safe and effective way, to keep the little ones healthy.”
“This will be a great challenge, but we know that it will not be a challenge that will last forever. At some point during the school year we hope that a vaccine will be given, and that will be administered to all children and families throughout New York City, and so we can begin to return to normality, “he said. De Blasio, adding that while that happens, “without a doubt it will be a very different start to classes this year.”
Mayor He insisted that mainly for the little ones it will be very different: “They will have to wear masks all the time, they will have to maintain social distancing and follow constant cleaning rules … many things will change.”
Of the total 1.1 million students attending public schools, will be approximately 700,000 who will start the mixed program of classes, going to the salons some days and not others. The rest will continue to receive only online classes, since 26% of the parents decided that option of the ‘full’ distance learning.
And on the big question that many parents still have, about what and how will the schedules for mixed classes be, the Mayor indicated that starting next Monday 17 of August Families will begin to receive this information, which will allow them, especially working parents, to have enough time to organize and plan what they will do with their children on the days that they are not due to go to the schools.
“We can say that the plan is that schools will be in session five days a week, and students will learn five days a week, no matter where they are,” Carranza said.
And the work of the teachers will be key to the operation of this program of mixed classes in person and at a distance, and the Chancellor assured that 85% of teachers, or what are 66,000 educators, expressed their commitment to attend the salons.
“Only 15 percent of our teachers have requested medical exemptions for coronavirus for the next school year and not attend the classrooms, and they will only teach remote classes,” Carranza explained.
Several leaders of the unions of teachers representing the Big Apple have expressed the concerns of their members about whether the DOE will have the capacity to guarantee their safety, to which the top leader of the largest school system in the country said: “With the principals we are analyzing the concerns expressed by the teachers and we are making sure that everyone’s voice and uneasiness be addressed ”.
Room ventilation: a key issue
One of the main concerns parents have it is about the ventilation systems in the classrooms of the 18,000 public schools, and on that both officials indicated that they were dealing with that matter as if it were “a matter of war.”
“We are dealing with ventilation problems aggressively, and all summer we have been working to improve the systems, specifically as recommended by the Health authorities and doctors”, He explained andl Chancellor.
Carranza indicated that the main advice has been that the windows can be opened, and that is something they have worked on, to verify that the windows do work. “And if there are problems with some buildings, we will look for alternative places to move classes there. It is very clear, if a classroom does not have proper ventilation we will not use it ”.
Classes start in percentages:
74% of students will attend schools. 26% of students will only take online classes. 85% of teachers will return to classrooms. 15% have applied for coronavirus medical exemptions.